No lead, less sulphur
The Ministry of Mines and Energy announced that Lead Replacement Petrol (LRP 93) will be phased out of the Namibian market as Wednesday 01 May 2013 and that there will be no gazetted retail price for it as from 15 June 2013.
LRP 93 was introduced as an intermediate grade with the phase-out only being a matter of time at the time it was introduced. This coincided with the introduction of lead-free petrol in the southern African market. LPR93 was specifically formulated to enable older vehicle that can not run on unleaded petrol, to extend their useful service life.
All industry players have been advised to put measures in place to ensure a smooth process that will not disadvantage the consumer in any way. The idea is based on the assumption that most vehicles will be able to run on unleaded 95 (ULP 95). The ministry said alternatives will be put in place for a small number of vehicles that cannot use unleaded petrol. “Service providers will be able to provide technical advice and assistance whenever a lead replacement product is absolutely necessary,” it said.
Also as from the beginning of May, low sulphur diesel of 20ppm (0.005%) sulphur will also be introduced as there is an increasing demand for it due to newer vehicles with refined high performance diesel engines that require extra clean diesel.
The ministry said it will coordinate the phase-out of LRP 93 and the introduction of 50ppm sulphur (ADO50) diesel in Namibia by working with the oil industry. An awareness campaign will be launched to inform the public of theses developments. Drivers are advised to be on lookout and access the relevant information when the time comes. The transparency of the awareness campaign will be decisive to the success of the changes in the fuel grades which will mean that Namibia will have two types of diesel and one type of petrol.
Current pump prices for 93 Octane, leaded replacement petrol and unleaded petrol are N$11.04 and N$11.15 per litre respectively. Diesel sells at N$11.26 per litre.
According to the ministry, an increase in oil demand on the back of global economic improvement has seen significant movement in crude prices. The ministry said market fears of future oil prices and the usual demand and supply forces remain imperative in assessing the price of oil. Additionally oil prices will continue on an upward trend provided political conflict continues in oil rich regions stated April’s report on oil prices.